With the kids away at camp, Dawn and I went away for a mini-vacation for the July 4th weekend. Although we never stayed there before, we scooted up to a B&B in Westbrook, Connecticut, a small town on the southeastern coast. We felt like kid-less grown ups again on an adventure.
We did all sorts of Americana. Saw a minor league baseball game with rain (but no rain delay), rainbows and fireworks after the game. Ate dinner one night at a seafood restaurant on the water with plastic forks. Did a little shopping at outlets and local craft stores. Had great fish and chips at an outdoor table in front of a "pub" in Old Saybrook. Went for a bike ride (not a training ride though). Had a fancy dinner. Most of all, though, three things from this weekend stand out in my mind and really cemented this as a great trip:
1) The first was the Chester Rotary's 31st Annual Four on the Fourth Road Race which gave me the opportunity to get some running in (I know it is frightening to talk about running a race while on vacation but this seems to be a recent trend of mine). What is memorable about this race wasn't my time (only 12 seconds off my 4m PR even though the course was the hilliest I can recall) but what was memorable was how the whole community seemed to come out for this race. While nobody knew me except Dawn (and vice-versa), everyone seemed to know everyone else. Cheering sections galore lined the route and I'll remember a group of guys wearing POW/MIA shirts running the course together, carrying flags, and shouting out various cadences as they passed me :"This ain't a hill - no it ain't", "I see a girl with a star on her ass - watch out boys 'cause she is fast, sound off 1,2", etc. [Note the girl was with them and laughed]. This was a great small town atmosphere and we wondered why we don't have that in our town.
2) The second "thing" was when we decided to go for a walk along the beach (remember kid-less grown ups). In contrast to New York, fireworks are legal in Connecticut and it seemed like the whole town was out trying to out do each other in launching firework after firework over the water. The night was so clear the water acted as a mirror for the thousands of rockets and the like. We left early but I think they were planning on going all night. They probably did and had a lot of fun doing it.
3) The most important thing is that we were able to, as Billy Joel mentions in Piano Man,"forget about life for a while." Instead of focusing on what is wrong with the gazillion things going on and what we need to do to make each wrong thing better, we were able to just enjoy our time with each other.
Sometimes life is that simple. Remember that more frequently.